FIBER ARTIST

Susan Brubaker Knapp

All images are copyrighted, and may not be used without the permission of Susan Brubaker Knapp

Testimonials

“Your workshop was sensational… Your artistic talent, as great as it is, is second only to your enthusiasm and your spirit. In your face, I can see the joy that is in your heart when you talk about what you do, and it is contagious. You are totally comfortable and pleased with what you do, and that makes you willing to share it with others … Today was a magnificent day; I feel like I found something that will be a part of me forever. I am smitten!” — Sandy Clark

 

“I was a high school teacher for almost 40 years and a college adjunct eight years. I've been an educator and student my whole life. I’ve been to Create, Art and Soul retreat, plus too many to list workshops and retreats over the years. I’ve had great teachers and perfectly awful ones. And I've taught numerous workshops as well. I think I have the experience to tell you that you rank as one of the truly truly BEST teachers I’ve ever had. Your easy style, simple approach to a well-defined and organized project, handouts, and your approachability all make your classes a truly memorable experience.”

— Marlyn Foell, FL

 

“You are a fantastic teacher, well prepared and armed with loads of patience. I was very impressed by the fact that you didn’t leave anyone behind, but then didn’t impede the progress of those who were ahead.”

— Annick Harris

 

You are the perfect teacher; you share your successes, strategy, tips, mistakes, wisdom, artistic insights and encouragement to just try and see what happens.”
— Carroll Grant

 

“Just wanted to thank you for coming to our guild. I’ve had lots of comments about the presentation and how great they thought it was. I also know the class members enjoyed your instructions and tips. I’m sure some of them will have their quilts done by the August meeting for show and tell! I’ll be talking to people about bringing you back for the surface design class. It really sounds like fun!” — Sharon Clayton, Program Chair, The Village Quilters, Loudon, TN

 

“Thank you so much for the program you gave last night to the Forsyth Piecers & Quilters Guild. Even though I’m one of those who feels I don’t have ‘an artist within,’ I thoroughly enjoyed the program and yes — I’m inspired! Thanks for coming to Winston– Salem.”

— Carolyn Bailey, NC

 

“It seems that after every workshop, there is always a comment that if everyone just knew what they were missing, more would sign up! I believe that is true and especially in this case. So many people will be pea green with envy after they hear about the workshop. Thanks again.”

— Wynnell Shows, Program Chair, York County Quilters, Rock Hll, SC

 

“Last night I attended a terrific guild meeting. Susan Brubaker Knapp showed slides of her work and lectured about art quilts. It was really an amazing presentation, and if you’re looking for someone in NC to come and speak, she’s definitely worth having.… this is what I loved about Susan’s lecture and slides - she does both [traditional quilts and art quilts]! … Susan Brubaker Knapp gave me a lot to think about. Thanks Susan!”

— Leah Day, Day Style Designs Quilting, Foothills Quilters Guild, Shelby, NC

 

“This year, I finally decided I’d give appliqué another shot (after years of saying I can’t do needleturn, my hands don’t work that way). Well… THANKS TO YOU, I now have another obsession! I have spent every evening sitting and stitching! And it’s all your fault! Seriously though, the overlay method and changing the needle size, as well as ‘grabbing’ the fabric and not swishing it have made all the difference!” — Judy Whitehead, NC

 

“The guild gave you wonderful reviews for both the lecture and the class. I heard comments like, ‘That was the best class we ever had’ and “Wow, we need to have Susan back again.’ It certainly was the best response to a class that I ever heard!” — Betsy Rutledge, Program Chair, Quilters of Kershaw County, SC

 

“I and the rest of the MCQG members thank you for your terrific program. It was entertaining, educational, inspirational and, in general, a real knockout. All comments have been positive plus. Your whole talk was interesting in how it covered your beginnings and progress, and you were especially generous in showing how you actually make the various components of your quilts. I can’t think of anything to change about your talk, and I think the whole group could have listened to and questioned you for a longer time. It is too bad we had all that quilt show business to spend time on, for I would love to have been able to pick your brain some more. Thank you again, and I will spread the word to other guild program chairmen about one of our very best programs.”

— Amy Barnhardt, Program Chair, Mooresville Centerpiece Quilters Guild, NC

 

classes & lectures

Online classes

Tyvek Explorations
This six-week class is under construction; it will launch in Spring 2017. I’m hosting it on the Ruzuku platform, which I’ve taken classes on before, and find very flexible and intuitive to use. It allows you to post photos of your work, and get feedback, suggestions and support from me and your fellow students. I’ll provide weekly lessons in the format of videos, photos, and detailed information in PDF format that you can print out and save, so you can go back and do the lessons even after the online portion of the class has closed.

 

The class will include six lessons covering:

  • information about different kinds of Tyvek
  • safety precautions for melting Tyvek
  • melting with an iron and heat gun
  • creating beads
  • making pins and embellishments
  • stitching through Tyvek before and after melting
  • manipulating Tyvek before melting to achieve special effects
  • creating a “November Leaves” art quilt
  • creating a “Cairn” art quilt
  • making Tyvek bracelets

 

I’m still working out a lot of the details (including pricing), but if you’d like to get more information about the class, please pop me an e-mail at susan@bluemoonriver.com, and I’ll let you know when I open registration.

I'm planning to do more online classes after this one!

 

Traditional teaching

I am passionate about teaching, and would love to come to your group! For engagements requiring more than four hours of travel, I require a minimum booking of one lecture and two six-hour workshops.

 

I am completely booked for 2017.
2018 rates:
Lectures are $550

3-hour classes are $550
6-hour classes are $800

 

For details on additional fees (mileage, travel, accommodations, etc.), please click on the “Download flier” and “Download my contract” boxes in the upper right corner of this page.

 

Lectures

Point, Click, Quilt!

A one-hour digital slide show and trunk show based on my book, Point, Click, Quilt! This lecture focuses on tips for taking better photographs, and then turning them into art quilts. This is an inspirational and detailed look at my process: tracing the photo; enlarging the line drawing; using it to trace the fused appliqué pieces for the quilt; creating a positioning overlay; and then cutting, positioning and fusing the pieces before thread sketching and quilting. A trunk show of pieces from the slideshow and additional work follows, and questions are welcome.

 

The Artist in You

A one-hour digital slide show and trunk show. I describe my personal journey from that of a traditional quilter to an artist who makes both traditional quilts and art quilts. I start with a digital slideshow, which shows my work and some of the techniques I use. Then I do a trunk show and a question-and-answer session. The focus is on ways for traditional quilters to become more creative by embracing their own “inner artist.” It is my goal to inspire and encourage quilters to try making an art quilt for several reasons: to challenge themselves, to unleash their innate creativity, to learn new techniques, to discover things about themselves through art, and to share their view of the world with others.

 

Thread Sketch It!

A one-hour digital slide show and trunk show. I cover what thread sketching is (and isn’t!), preparing your piece for thread sketching, stabilizers, types of threads and thread weights, sewing machine considerations, great tools, and how to add wonderful detail to your piece with thread, including color, line, pattern, texture, dimension and movement. I’ll also address getting over your fear of trying free-motion stitching. This presentation covers much of what I wrote about in my series of six articles for Quilting Arts magazine in 2010, and in the two Quilting Arts Workshop DVDs on the subject I produced in 2009 and 2010.

 

Yes, You Can Do Needleturn Appliqué

A one-hour digital slide show and trunk show. I walk you through my method of doing needleturn appliqué. I cover all the basics: fabric choice and preparation; several ways of making templates (or, better yet, working without templates at all!); creating positioning overlays; doing reverse appliqué; and stitching precise concave and convex points, curves, beautiful circles and bias vines. You’ll learn about the little details and tools that make all the difference: knots (starting and stopping), threads, needles, pins, sand boards, and marking devices. I finish with a trunk show and question-and-answer session. My love and enthusiasm for needleturn appliqué is infectious… Those in your group who admire needleturn appliqué but are terrified to try may just decide to jump in!

 

Classes

In my classes, I strive to provide professional instruction in a supportive, friendly atmosphere.
I encourage students to push themselves beyond their comfort zones to learn new things and improve their skills, and to have fun doing it.

 

Need to accommodate more than 20 students? Depending on the class and venue, I am sometimes able to do this for an additional charge of $25 per student.

 

Detailed supply lists are provided in PDF format after arrangements are finalized. Kit fees (for some classes noted below) are usually in the $10-30 range; they vary depending on shipping costs to different locations.

 

Thread Sketching: Snowflakes

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Whip up your very own flurry in this class, using thread, fabric and a tiny bit of paint. You’ll learn the basics of how to thread sketch, using my patterns for gorgeous, realistic looking snowflakes. I will cover:

  • tracing your design onto your background fabric
  • how to stabilize your piece to avoid draw-up
  • regulating your stitch for perfect tension
  • how to improve your control while stitching
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

TIME: 6 hours or 3 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Several ironing boards, light boards/boxes, access to outlets for sewing machines, table space for each student.

 

Thread Sketching: Still Life with Three Fruits

Learn how to add highlights and shadows, and blend colors using thread sketching to create a realistic still life. Students learn how to:

  • cut pieces from fusible adhesive and fuse them to the background
  • stabilize the fabric surface
  • choose the right threads and needles for thread sketching
  • adjust tension for the correct stitch
  • add color, highlights and shadows using thread
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Intermediate

TIME: 6 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Table space for each student. Access to power outlets for sewing machines. Two ironing boards and irons.

 

Thread Sketching: Cripps Pink Apple

Learn how to add highlights and shadows, and blend colors using thread sketching to create a realistic apple. This is the most basic of my thread sketching classes. Using a simple apple pattern, students learn how to:

  • cut pieces from fusible adhesive and fuse them to the background
  • stabilize the fabric surface
  • choose the right threads and needles for thread sketching
  • adjust tension for the correct stitch
  • add color, highlights and shadows using thread
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Intermediate

TIME: 3 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Table space for each student. Access to power outlets for sewing machines. Two ironing boards and irons.

 

Thread Sketching: Crayons

In this class, students will create thread-sketched crayons on white fabric. This is a good class for those seeking greater control in their free-motion stitching. Students learn how to:

  • stabilize the fabric surface
  • choose the right threads and needles for thread sketching
  • adjust tension for the correct stitch
  • add color using thread
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Intermediate

TIME: 6 hours or 3 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Table space for each student. Access to power outlets for sewing machines. Two ironing boards and irons.

 

Thread Sketching: Dragonfly

A workshop for those who already have basic machine quilting experience who want to expand their skills to create color and texture with thread. Using a line drawing of a dragonfly, students learn how to:

  • make templates for the body and create fusible pieces
  • stabilize the fabric surface
  • choose the right threads and needles for thread sketching
  • adjust tension for the correct stitch

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Intermediate

TIME: 6 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Table space for each student. Access to power outlets. Light boards/boxes. Two ironing boards and irons.

 

Paint and Stitch: Peacock Feather

Learn the basics of painting on fabric using my peacock feather design, then stitch the details with black thread. This design was featured on the cover of Quilting Arts magazine in 2010.  We will cover:

  • transferring a design onto your background fabric
  • basic techniques of painting on fabric
  • thread sketching your piece with black thread
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

TIME: 6 hours or 3 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Access to outlets for sewing machines, table space for each student. Access to water for paint cleanup. Floors that can get messy (and clean up with water).Two ironing boards. Table space for each student. KIT FEE: Covers paint, PDF fabric and paintbrushes

 

Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals

Students will learn the basics of creating wholecloth painted quilts based on photos. Students can choose from the four projects shown above, and will work from line drawings and my photos to recreate the image using acrylic textile paints. Afraid to try this technique? Don’t be! My students get great results. We will cover:

  • selecting the right photos for great results
  • which paints and fabrics to use and why
  • how to transfer your design to fabric
  • painting and blending techniques
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

TIME: 6 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Access to water for paint cleanup. Table space for each student. Adequate lighting. Floors that can get messy, and can clean up with water.
KIT FEE: includes fabric, pattern, paint and brushes

 

Wholecloth Painting: Still Life

Students will learn the basics of creating wholecloth painted quilts based on photos. This project is featured in my 2011 Quilting Arts DVD “Dynamic Quilt Design: Paint Meets Stitch.” Students will work from a line drawing and my photo to recreate the image using acrylic textile paints. We will cover:

  • selecting the right photos for great results
  • which paints and fabrics to use and why
  • how to transfer your design to fabric
  • painting and blending techniques
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

TIME: 6 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Access to water for paint cleanup. Table space for each student. Adequate lighting. Floors that can get messy, and can clean up with water.
KIT FEE:
includes fabric, pattern, paint and three brushes

 

Paint & Stitch (3 Days)

Learn the basics of painting on fabric (two days) and thread sketching (one day) to make wholecloth painted quilts. Working from original photographs, students use acrylic textile paints and thread sketching to bring them to life. Students begin one or two original projects, learning how to:

  • mix colors, shades and tints
  • transfer the design to fabric
  • paint and blend colors
  • create line, color and texture with thread
  • gain control and confidence when free-motion stitching
  • stabilize the fabric surface
  • choose the right threads and needles for thread sketching

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

REQUIREMENTS: Access to outlets for sewing machines. Access to water for paint cleanup. Floors that can get messy (and clean up with water).Two ironing boards.

KIT FEE: includes PDF fabric, set of three paintbrushes, paint

 

Wholecloth Painting from Original Photos
(2 Days)

Learn the basics of painting on fabric to make wholecloth painted quilts. Working from original photographs, students

use acrylic textile paints to recreate them on fabric. Students begin two original projects, learning how to:

  • select the right photos for great results
  • mix colors, shades and tints
  • choose paints and fabrics to use and why
  • transfer the design to fabric
  • paint and blend colors

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

REQUIREMENTS: Table space for each student. Access to water for paint cleanup. Floors that can get messy (and clean up with water).Two ironing boards.

KIT FEE: includes PDF fabric, set of three paintbrushes, paint

 

Freestyle Embroidery

Turn a small piece of spectacular fabric – a special hand-dye, a batik, or a shibori piece from your stash – into an intricate freestyle embroidered masterpiece. You’ll learn how to transform the surface of the fabric with simple embroidery stitches, while letting the beauty of the fabric shine. We will cover:

  • basic, simple embroidery stitches
  • analyzing your fabric to decide how to approach the embroidery
  • using different kinds of threads and flosses
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

TIME: 6 hours or 3 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Good lighting (or individual table lights). Table space for each student.

 

Tyvek: Paint, Melt, Stitch

Learn how to create fascinating texture and pattern while you create a small art quilt with pieces of melted Tyvek and stitched designs. We will cover:

  • painting and melting Tyvek
  • creating an abstract design with Tyvek pieces
  • stitching on melted Tyvek
  • creating doodled, stitched designs for an interesting background
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

TIME: 6 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Access to outside space and power outlets when heating Tyvek. Extension cords for outside access for irons and heat guns. Access to water for paint cleanup. Floors that can get messy (and clean up with water).Two ironing boards. Table space for each student.

KIT FEE: includes paint, Tyvek and foam brush

 

November Leaves

This class teaches the technique of stitching through Tyvek pieces, then heating the Tyvek so that it disintegrates in places to show the background fabric. Topics covered include

  • painting and stitching through Tyvek
  • creating a design using maple leaf shapes
  • heating stitched Tyvek
  • creating doodled, stitched designs for an interesting background
  • quilting considerations

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

TIME: 6 hours or 3 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Access to outside space and power outlets when heating Tyvek. Extension cords for outside access for irons. Access to water for paint cleanup. Floors that can get messy (and clean up with water).Two ironing boards. Two or more light boxes. Table space for each student.

KIT FEE: includes paint, Tyvek, foam brush

 

Start With a Photo: Round Red Barn

This workshop is designed to help you learn the skills you need to go home, take your favorite photo, and interpret it in fabric using fusible appliqué. In the workshop, we will all be working on the same photo, a close-up shot I took of a wonderful round barn at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. You’ll learn how to:

 

  • make a positioning overlay from clear upholstery vinyl
  • cut out your fabric pieces and fuse them
  • use thread to “sketch” on top of your fabric to add detail,
  • color and texture.

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Intermediate

TIME: 6 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Several ironing boards, several light boards/boxes, access to outlets for sewing machines, table space for each student.

 

Surface Design Madness

Come and experiment with some of the exciting new materials you can use in your quilts to create texture, color and bling. This is a fun, low stress way to try some new things. I provide nearly all the materials for a kit fee  The only thing you need to bring is a quarter yard of white fabric, a quarter yard of black fabric, and a creative spirit! We will work with:

  • acrylic textile paint
  • Shiva paintstiks and rubbing plates
  • rubber stamps
  • Angelina fibers and film
  • Tyvek
  • Wonder Under (used as a paint transfer material)
  •  

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: All

TIME: 3 hours or 6 hours (3-hour workshops may cover fewer materials than are listed above due to time constraints)

REQUIREMENTS: Access to outside space and power outlets when heating and burning materials. Access to water for paint cleanup. Two ironing boards. Table space for each student.

KIT FEE: includes all materials except fabric.

 

Needleturn Appliqué

Learn the fine art of needleturn appliqué step by step. If you’ve never done needleturn appliqué and are intimidated and afraid to try, this workshop is for you. Using my “Spring Valentine” pattern, which has all the shapes and techniques beginner appliquérs need to learn, we will cover:

 

  • marking and pinning
  • concave curves and points
  • convex curves and points
  • reverse appliqué
  • bias stems
  • small and medium circles
  • straight lines
  • making a positioning overlay
  • making pattern templates

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Beginner to intermediate

TIME: 6 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Good lighting or individual lights brought by students. Light boxes. Iron and ironing board. Table space for each student.

 

Machine Quilting 101

Many beginner quilters have a bunch of quilt tops sitting in their sewing room that they are afraid to quilt. In this class, students learn the basics and gain confidence to go home, practice, and take on those quilt tops. In this class, students learn about:

  •     preparing a quilt for quilting (how to
  •     make the “quilt sandwich”)
  •     pinning and basting
  •     lighting, ergonomics and posture
  •     exercises to reduce strain
  •     the sewing surface
  •     settings for your machine
  •     the essential feet (free-motion/darning foot,
  •     and walking foot)
  •     how to work with a big quilt
  •     starting and stopping neatly
  •     what to do if thread breaks or you run out of thread
  •     thread, needle and batting basics

 

EXPERIENCE LEVEL: Beginner to intermediate

TIME: 3 hours or 6 hours

REQUIREMENTS: Access to power outlets. One iron and one ironing board. Each student must bring a machine

able to drop feed dogs, and with a free-motion foot.

 

 

 

2017 Schedule

Coastal Carolina Quilters

Surfside Beach, SC

Jan. 16: details TBA

 

Gate City Quilters

Greensboro, NC

Feb. 2: details TBA

 

Art Quilters Unlimited

Ft. Myers, FL

March 3: Start With a Photo:
Round Red Barn

March 4: November Leaves

March 5: Paint & Stitch: Peacock Feather

 

Quilting Arts Television shoot
March 14-17

 

Empty Spools Seminar at Asilomar

Pacific Grove, CA

April 21-26

five-day class: Wholecloth Painting and Thread Sketching (original work from your photos)

 

Bald Head Island, NC

May 11-12

class May 11: Wholecloth Painting: Old Baldy
class May 12: Surface Design Madness (half day)

Genesee Valley Quilt Club

Rochester, NY

June 1-3

class June 1: Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals
class June 2: Tyvek: Paint, Melt, Stitch

lecture June 3: Point, Click, Quilt!

 

Quilt Wyoming 2017
Gillette, Wyoming

July 13-16

class July 14: November Leaves
class July 15: Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals
lecture July 15

 

Bits n’ Pieces Quilt Guild
St. Louis, MO

August 22-24

lecture August 22: TBA

class August 23: TBA

class August 24: TBA

 

Quilting Arts Television shoot

Sept. 11-14

 

New Zealand Quilt Symposium:
Creative Construction
Christchurch, New Zealand

October 5-10

class Oct. 6-8: Paint and Stitch from Your Original Photos

class Oct. 9: Wholecloth Painting: Botanicals
class Oct. 10: Paint and Sitch: Peacock Feather

 

Charlotte Quilters’ Guild
Charlotte, NC

November 1-4
lecture: Nov. 1
class Nov. 3: Tyvek: Paint, Melt, Stitch

class Nov. 4: November Leaves

 

2018 Schedule

Westside Quilters
Los Angeles, CA

Feb. 2-3
Feb. 2: Workshop TBA

Feb. 3: Lecture TBA

 

Quilting Arts Television shoot
March dates TBA

 

Longmont Quilt Guild
Boulder County, CO
early July
July 10: lecture
Two workshops TBA

 

Quilting Arts Television shoot
September dates TBA

 

Asheville Quilt Guild
Asheville, NC
October 16-17
October 16: lecture
October 17: workshop TBA